Sunday, December 21, 2014

33 - Oh, the Weather Outside's... Delightful!

Before I say anything about this week, there is a story that I forgot to tell that's too good to leave out of my mission blog!
Black Friday Mall Crowd

Flashback to Black Friday amongst the hustle and bustle of the mall in the afternoon!

We were at the food court and had just gotten our lunch. Problem is, there was hardly any places to sit. Solution- sit on the rim of the indoor fountain, like everyone does when there's nowhere to sit. I was by a guy who was playing some game on his cell phone. Well, we're counseled to talk with everyone to give them an opportunity to accept the gospel, so I strike up a conversation. I'm only eating my fries as I talk. I don't want to be so undignified as to be workin' on my messy Whopper when fulfilling my calling as a representative of Jesus Christ. Somehow, I doubt that would invite the spirit. haha.

The conversation was going fine. He didn't seem too interested, but I brought up the Book of Mormon and was going to talk more about it when his phone rang. He did mention that he was waiting for his wife and kid to meet him. I reached for my Book of Mormon and discretely pulled it out and kept it by my side, but then the guy got up... darn it...

Sister Burt realized the situation. "Sorry," she sympathized. But then a few seconds later, "wait, isn't that him?" The guy had just put down his phone and was just standing there, looking around. 

Woo! Here's my chance! So I walk up and say,

"Hi, sorry, we have to get going, but here," I say as I place the Book of Mormon in his hand.


"I know if you read and pray about the Book of Mormon that the Holy Ghost will tell you it is of God."

"Well... thank you, but I'm Luthran, so I don't want this."

"Well, that's ok, just give it to someone who needs Jesus in their life!" I said with a smile.

"Oh! Ok, I'll do that! Thank you!"

"You're welcome, Grr... g..rraa....."

"What are you trying to say...?"

"I'm trying to remember your name."

"You don't know me."

"! ...Oh! hahaha.. well then! ok, well, anyway, you have a great holiday season!"

"You to, thanks."

Hahahahahaha! I totally gave it to a totally different guy! hahahahah! But it totally worked! I I think that I ended up putting it in good hands! hahaha.

So that's that story! haha. Back to the present.

"Frozen" Falls Park

After emailing last P-Day we went and took pictures at Falls Park! 

It was cold that evening, but it was so fun and so beautiful! 

Our Group at the Frozen Falls
We walked and climbed on the frozen falls and everything! 

We had some great pictures taken! 

And the place is soooo beautiful and Christmas time at night!

You know what's really rewarding? 

To have your mission President mention your success story in his weekly email to all the missionaries. He said:

"Great success is being experienced through the He is the Gift initiative... One set of Sister Missionaries packed a lunch, asked a member to help them get their bikes to a neighboring town in their area and spent the day tracting then the member came back at night and picked them up. They passed out 29 He is the Gift Cards, five Books of Mormon and are returning to follow up on the appointments they made and to do more tracting."

How awesome is that!? After reading that I really wish we had been able to report better news about going to Worthing again, but see, we tried our hardest to call everyone and get someone to come with us to the appointments we set up with people there, but because of various reasons, nobody was able to at all. Darn Christmas shopping and sickness and lack of answering phone. But, the Lord knows what he's doing because in the morning we contacted the people we had appointments with by phone and one of them was very sick and the other was out of town.

We ended up going to Lennox to find some innactive people on the ward list there. Lennox is a little tiny bit futher out than Worthing and it's also a little bit bigger and a lot bit more getto. 

Also, you find odd things in small towns, like buses parked in driveways of houses. It gives Sister Burt the creeps Lennox does. 

We were able to find at least one member who we could come back and see sometime, so that was good.

We also went to Tea and tracted a bit.

It was successful. We go to Tea a lot to teach a less active family once a week. 

A 2-Track Crossing!
It's good because it's the closest to us and it's larger too, more options to choose from as far as where to tract.

Warm enough to RAIN!
Also, the weather... has been an absolute miracle. Saturday it was 55 degrees! And same with Sunday! 

Like... what! NOT South Dakota winter weather at all! I went to church with no coat! It was amazing! Moss was growing on the trees and everything! It's so warm that it's 'raining' right now! Granted it's going to snow again today later... but still! I'll take a two whole day miracle!

Also, Sister Burt got her trunky papers. Poor Sister Burt... haha.

So that's about it! We are going to be working hard this Christmas season! Woo!


Gas prices have been awesome here lately.

Door @ a Gift Shop...Is that a...hmm?

This handle at the Sioux Falls gift shop totally looks like a video game controller.

32 -The Worthing Souls Are Great

It's been a productive week! And Sister Burt was even sick for the beginning of it, and we still got a super lot done, just, wow! And you know why? It's because we made awesome plans and followed through on them. This is how it went down.

We were doing weekly planning. Every week, it's the same people... And I knew there was more people that we still had yet to meet in the ward. So we finally sat down and figured out who all was in our area, active and less active alike and we highlighted all of the people we knew. There were a lot of un-highlighted names, so our goal is now to get as many names highlighted on that list as possible. Because we now had a definite list of people to visit, we met and taught two new less actives and have return appointments with both of them! We really should have done this sooner.

Beautiful Stained Glass.         An Uplifting Christmas Program
The day after that, we went to support one of our less actives who was in a Christmas program at a methodist church. She goes to a Methodist school.
The church was beautiful and the program was very cute and uplifting. They did a great job.

The mayor even passed by us while we were walking in the parking lot to the car and said, "Thanks for comin!" But we didn't know that was the mayor until the member who was with us notified us. Otherwise, we would have totally taken more advantage of that opportunity! But, still awesome that the mayor talked to us.

A map of the "city" of Worthing. :-)
The crowning event of this week though (as you can guess by the title), was the day in the City of Worthing.

This little thing is Worthing. 

There's a little bit more to it on the outskirts that doesn't show here aparently, but still, it's tiny. It has about 1000 people who live there we've been told.

You see, we have a few little tiny cities south and west of us that don't get touched very often because we are of course limited on the amount of miles we can use. 

But we decided that we NEEDED to get out to one of them and work there before weather became too severe. We found out that the best day would be Saturday, thanks to members who have smart phones and are willing to tell us the weather forcasts. We announced the previous Sunday that we needed a ride with our bikes to Worthing on Saturday and got things all orchestrated. (See how much preparation this took? Couldn't just do this on a whim.)

So, come Saturday we armed ourselves with supplies and a packed lunch because we didn't know if there were any places to eat there. We ate a big breakfast that Saturday (conveniantly served at the church because it was the holiday Christmas breakfast thing) and we hooked our bikes up and we were off on an adventure!

Worthing... honestly wasn't quite as far away as we thought. It took about fifteen minutes to get there, but it was still worth getting a ride. Before long there was a little sign.

There it is! Worthing! Haha. 

We were dropped off at the east end of the city and we started knocking on doors! 

The low was 26 or so and the high 42 and it was sunny and not very windy. It was still cold, but completely bearable, the perfect day to tract out that town.

Worthing, and just small towns or... cities... (it is a city. Has a school and a little City Hall and everything.) they remind me of what it would be like in the book "To Kill a Mockingbird." Just super small with dirt roads and the houses are more old and everything. It's a cool feel.

Cold Chicken Noodle Soup for Lunch
I am glad we brought a lunch though, because the only places to eat were two bars and the gas station. Soooo cold chicken noodle soup it was! A little bit colder than room temperature, but, hey, it was food!

We actually did not tract out the entire town. We tracted until Juniper, so we only covered like a third of what we have on our map. 

In the five and a half hours we were there we passed out 29 He is the Gift cards, 5 Book of Mormons, and found many people who have been humbled by their life's circumstances and who are much more receptive to the gospel than most of the people in Sioux Falls. 

We are going back to Worthing on Saturday for two return appointments and some drop-bys and more tracting!

One of the most powerful experiences was this:

It was later in the afternoon, one of the last doors we knocked on, and this lady opened the door. She was getting out her Christmas decorations, seeing what she already had and what she still needed. We gave her the He is the Gift card and she started telling us how this was a hard time for her and her family, that they were going through a lot. And she mentioned her sister who lived in town (so there are still little towns where people are related) and she was actually one of the first people we tracted into, so we already had that connection.

We bore testimony that us meeting her, AND her sister before her, was no coincidence and that the Book of Mormon, this gospel, is what they need in order to bring them peace. There were tears in her eyes from just referencing the hard time she was having. Sister Burt then said,
"Do you want a hug?"

"Yes, I actually would."

I watched with humble heart as they hugged. Then I hugged her and said,
"I know we just met you, but we love you already!"

She had tears streaming down her face. This is the first time I've ever seen someone cry on my mission right there at the doorstep. It was really, really quite something. We gave her sister before her a Book of Mormon and we gave her a Book of Mormon as well of course. 

We will be sure to try them next Saturday.

Shortly after that experience, we went to the gas station and called for our ride because it was getting dark outside. (It gets dark at around 5:30 right now.)

It's a cute little gas station, as you can see, but the sad thing is, it's bigger than the Circle K I worked at. I swear, there's not a gas station that I've ever come across that is smaller than the one I worked at, or in other words, has only two islands of food stuff! This one had like, four. But, I guess it is the only gas station, so they should have more stuff I suppose.

Our ride came and we were happy to report the results of the day. It was a taxing day and we were sore the day after, but it was so worth it!

And for the hard work we put in, Heavenly Father poured out a blessing upon us the day after. 

Travis and Jasmine and their four little boys came to church! We have lost contact with them because they just had a new baby and Travis is out of town a lot. Jasmine was baptised earlier in Mexico, but doesn't know anything about the church really. They all enjoyed church and we have a return appointment with them on Thursday! 

We have more set appointments this upcoming week then I think we've ever had! It's been a productive week for sure!

Also, if you haven't seen the He is a Gift video, go to and watch it! It is a great video and gets better when you share it with people! The first time I watched it, I will confess, I had thoughts of "...her shorts are really short... ...that's a weird looking depiction of Jesus and Mary... ..the music is eeeh." But as I've watched it more and read the words, it is now a powerful video! So go and watch it, and think about how Jesus Christ is the greatest gift and more importantly, think of how you can show your appreciation for him.

Discover the Gift.
Embrace the Gift.
and, Share the Gift.

Remember what Christmas is truly about and I promise, you will have a merry Christmas.

Elder Ben Lopez - Letter 1 - Nebraska

Here's a letter from Elder Ben Lopez, for those of you who know him and aren't on the distribution list.
Heyyyyyy! Everyone! Family and friends! Wow! Well i have a lot to talk about!

I can accept Letters at my new address. I found out that packages can be sent to this address too! 
Elder Ben R Lopez
155 E 8th St. Apt #1
Wahoo, NE 68066
The weather is ok here haha not snowing here yet. Maybe next week. The Families are amazing. Well, they remind me of friends and family from home. Its very weird. I'm thinking, whoa, you sound so much like me cousins! You act like this person and that person. The church isn't a ward. its a branch. So we just have a Branch President. :) My companion's Name is Elder Benjamin Painter...haha He's amazing. Well the first day of meeting him was Friday. My area is 30 min North of Lincoln City, in a place called Wahoo. I didn't get to meet my companion til about 1 pm on Friday. so i hung out with other missionaries waiting for my companion. Lets just say i wanted to fight some missionaries because of the way they were acting! Yes, some aren't as obedient to the rules and other type of things as other missionaries!. Well, Thankfully my companion is awesome! He reminds me of Luke Powell and a few other people put into one. haha
My first night in Wahoo, We teach this investigator...My first lesson that i get to teach in Nebraska is..........The Law of Chastity...Yay! haha but the investigator is about 76 years old and he is awesome! He has a baptismal date for this FridayDec 19th. Nothing big haha...I'm thankful that i get to participate and fulfill the or be here for the baptism and to be able to help with a couple lessons. The Branch is great at welcoming investigators and the area I'm in is great for church attendance with investigators, lots of baptisms, and just a great area out of the mission. I feel honored to be here for my first area! A couple more baptisms this next month. 
My first times out here since i came on a plane...Well, (Wed-Friday) Spent a couple days in a hotel and the Mission President was training us new missionaries. On Thursday, tried to go on splits and knock from door to door to give a Book of Mormon away. It went well, Gave one away This took place in Omaha. Then Visited the Winter Quarters Temple and visiting center. It was amazing. Then a lesson and dinner at President Weston's house. Then Friday came and went to see our new companions for the transfer. Friday night gave lesson and had dinner at a members house.Saturday came and we had a slow day. So we were thinking of things on what to do. Well, got invited to lunch with the branch pres family. Met them and the Branch pres wife...Reminded me of my mom. haha So yeah pretty scary! After Elder Painter and I went to go street contacting later for about 3-4 hours. We went to a town full of Catholics..the town is called Weston. Lots of rejection especially from this older lady. so this is how it went...

She was about in her 70's or 80's. We introduced ourselves..then she says. I want nothing to do with you. Then shuts door. 
I thought to myself. There is so much we can give and well nothing you can do to force them to listen. So just went our ways and onto the next door.! The next town we go to is called Malmo. It is full of Lutherans...Hoping some of our convos don't end up in bible bashing. But they say no thank you or some just close the door. My companion and I are starving and we see this place. I was thinking to myself...ohhh we should preach in this place! He smiles and laughs a bit. Well, the place is a Bar and Grill. So we walked there and immediately I didn't feel good about so we just turn around. So maybe next time! :)
Church was Awesome! Met so many people but our church is under a eye care center. Our church isnt big. Not many Melchizedek Priesthood holders. But before church my companion and i give a blessing of healing and anointing of the oil. I blessed the Sacrament. Then I bore my testimony for a bit. Everyone seemed excited haha The Branch President enjoyed what i talked about when i talked about seminary. Me thinking nothing of it just talking about it helped out a lot of others as they listened. Later that night, taught another lesson at the Branch Presidents house. We also had dinner and did a little gift exchange thing and had some fun. The branch President talked to me about singing. He asked if i liked singing and i said yes. Then he gave a compliment that i had a great voice. I freaked out and thought to myself, not really. But said Thank you haha. He wondered if i would do a solo and i was freaked out again and said no. but dont worry, Creating a Boy Band for the church to sing Christmas Hymns! ;) and they had a guitar so i tuned it right quick and played a few songs and they love it! I'm so thankful for the talents and to be able to make them happy. So there is like 30 members. Not too many people in the branch, but almost half of them will be moving to different states. So, I'll be doing my best to help the branch and bring others unto Christ!
So good So far...! I love you all. Its great hearing all the things that have been happening at home! Writing letters will be effective for me. I'm going to be writing a lot. I hope Christmas break is fun and that you all enjoy family and friends and the holidays! Be safe out there! Stay warm! and I'm trying my best to be warm! haha and its not snowing here. So hopefully pretty soon like next week. And I'll let you know when I can Skype. Not too sure...Hmm, please let me know the times that the other missionaries are Skyping...Elder Shaeffer&Hermana Shaeffer...I can work around their time. Thank you for everything! I forgot my camera and I'll be sure to post pictures next time. I'm really slow on that. please forgive me. Everyone home keep having fun and enjoy the Christmas break! You all are working hard! Teaching, Studying for Finals, Working..Just getting through everyday. you all are amazing and continue to do what you all do! I love you All! You all keep me motivated everyday! To do my best! Until Next Monday! :)
-Elder Lopez

Monday, December 15, 2014

31 - The Week of Thanksgiving

...that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you. (Alma 34:38).

Lots happened this week, and I know I'm not going to be able to cover all I would like too. Darn. But I'll try to hit the important things.

Tuesday was great because we saw lots of progress with people we are working with! The native family is opening up to us a lot more now. It's been awesome. And what else is awesome is the deaf recent convert that we have been working with, Sunshine? Well, someone was apparently giving her a hard time and telling her to go to a different church, trying super hard to control her. But Sunshine stood up for herself, telling her friend that she was satisfied with her church right now. But her friend was just NOT leaving her alone! But she felt comfortable to call us for comfort and support after that happened! How awesome is that! She's been struggling with her testimony and that just shows how far she's come!

The day before Thanksgiving, we had Thanksgiving dinner with the Taylor family. 

They did Thanksgiving a day early because Sister Taylor was going out of town on Thanksgiving. It was wonderful! 

As you can see by my plate, it was a lot of good awesome Thanksgiving deliciousness. 

And afterward we had a Thanksgiving activity where we made thankfulness turkeys. 

So that was super fun and filling.

Thanksgiving day. I prayed that day to see miracles. In my mind, I reminded myself that this was the only Thanksgiving I would have as a missionary, as a representative of the Lord, and I wanted to tell people what I was thankful for and give them something more to be thankful for! 

I expressed my desire to work hard today to Sister Burt, and I told her we 'would' see miracles today.

The miracle came almost immediately. We had tried knocking on this less active family's door multiple times with no avail, but this morning, the door was opened. We were able to share a Thanksgiving message and set up another time to meet and we have high hopes with meeting with these people more regularly in the future!

We then went back home and were picked up by Sister Thulin to spend Thanksgiving with their family of ten kids all under the age of sixteen! Crazy! I love their family! 

And Sister Thulin is such a saint and even brought little treats to her person that she visit teaches after she picked us up.

Man, Thanksgiving at the Thulin house was so high energy and fun! 

See, I told you it was COLD outside!
Never A Dull Moment At the Thulin's - 10 Kids!
We've been to their house for dinner before, but, and this is so typical of kids, they wanted to give us a tour of the house! Haha. So we walked down the stairs, following the barrage of excited little ones and were shown the big awesome room that is the basement and the playroom. 

And they had a big bean bag that we were playing with, giving them rides on it one at a time, and then we played "Binky Ball" (dodgeball basically with one of those squishy stringy balls) which is totally a game which we in my family as little kids would have made up and played, and it was awesome. 

So much running around!

And then one of the kids wanted to play outside in the like, 10 degree weather, and I was all for that! 

There wasn't too much snow, and the snow wasn't sticky enough to make anything more than a simple snowball, but we had fun playing soccer as best we could while the little ones sledded down the soccer goal haha, and while one of the youngest sucked on a football.

Problem is, I got my camera slightly snowy, aka, slightly wet... and the picture was um, not doing so well... but! It took an awesome picture of pre-digging into Thanksgiving dinner where it made it look like a memory! haha

So that's awesome! But then I just put it in rice and my camera was all good to use again. Yay rice!!!

And we after that just had a good relaxing time. 

It was so homey and nice.
But... we did end up staying longer than we probably should have. I prayed to see miracles and I saw one. I was satisfied with the one miracle and I shouldn't have been satisfied with just one. It was a great Thanksgiving still, but I regret not having set the expectation to leave the member's house earlier. And there's no other Thanksgiving for me to have a second chance. But, I suppose that's what the atonement is for, to make up for those things that you can't repay yourself. What a sacred gift. I will repent as I take advantage of the future holidays. Though, of course, everyday we can see miracles.

Also... guess what....

You'll never believe this, but our Mission President authorized us to go Black Friday shopping, just us sisters in Sioux Falls, (cuz we called and asked haha) and so we did! We switched most of our P-day hours to be on Friday instead of Tuesday so we could shop for a long time!

This was my first Black Friday experience actually haha. How ironic. We got up at 5 and were at Target by 6. It actually wasn't very busy, it was nice. After Target we went to Hobby Lobby. 

And then we went to Style Encore which still opened at 10, and haha, there was a little line five minutes to opening that formed! So we totally stood in a little line on black Friday! How awesome is that!?

My crowning buy was from Style Encore though. I got this coat for just $15.90! Hopefully it will hold me through the negatives. If not, guess I'll just have to find something else haha, but it seems like it should do me good. 

But yes, black Friday was very successful.

And guess what! A less active family who we have been working with, the native family, they came to sacrament meeting on Sunday!!! That's huge!!!

And I am out of time. 
Just because: So cute...Link gnome leprechaun...hahaha

Looking forward to writing next week!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

30 - Workin' On My Bucket List

Last rain of the year?
First off, the weather this week. 

It was cold for the first bit still, but hey! 

It totally got warm enough to rain yesterday! 

It was 40 degrees! Woo!
Thermometer on the Pole says 20 F.

And now it's 19 degrees again. With a wind gusting to thirty miles an hour, making it feel like 3 degrees. 

That warm spell didn't last long!

But, it's been good. 

We've been braving the cold still and we've seen results from it. We actually found two less actives this week, one because we were out in the cold knocking on doors. We had a good conversation with him out in the cold, 'cuz he didn't actually live at the house, he was just doing their yard work, shoveling snow and what-not. He told us that we might see him at church someday, that you never know.

Some of the Deaf Sisters (just because).
After that particular slew of tracting though, it was good to come back to the apartment and defrost. We were out in the cold for about two hours, and it was maybe 15-19 degrees outside plus a slight windchill. And knocking on doors doesn't get your blood flowing like say, building a snowman does, so you get pretty cold. 

When I was defrosting, when even something slightly warm was super hot, when my fingers were red from the blood rushing to them, when my face felt funny from having feeling return to it, it completely reminded me of returning home from astronomy at NAU on those cold nights when my roommate Katelynne and I stood out in the snow to look at stars and got so cold while we did so. We had to thaw out then too. 

Good times.

I love eating dinner with so many families. This particular family of mom and dad and two little boys just cracks me up. I told their mom that she needs to record their dinners and it would be a super funny show! haha. 

The one in the dark shirt, he's four I believe and is just a chatter box and so funny! And then the one in the red shirt, his name might as well be Echo because he just copies everything his older brother does and it's so funny! 


Now. Wednesday. That was an awesome day. Let me tell you, a mission allows you to cross things off your bucket list that you didn't even know were on it! I did three awesome things this particular day, that is:
1)Have a butterfly land on my face.

2)Eat swordfish

3)Dominate at dodgeball (sorry, no picture).

What a day, right! 

The worker person who was showing us volunteers the butterfly house, she scissor-grabbed a struggling butterfly and threw it in the air and it landed on my face and stayed there! hahaha. It was crazy! 

Then for dinner there is a very well off family in the ward who likes to treat the missionaries and they took us to Foley's, a very expensive restaurant with real quality food and wow... that swordfish is heavenly! It tasted like salmon, but not and it was just! AH! It was so good! 

And then we were waiting at the church in order for the other sisters to meet us to switch out the car and the young men and young women just got done with mutual and were playing dodgeball. So we joined. I've decided that I like playing dodgeball with a softer ball about the size of a grapefruit, because, I can't catch, but those smaller balls are easier to dodge, so I just dodged and threw when the ball was open and I dominated! I even flaunted my nametag. Haha it was pretty boss.
And this week I got around to taking pictures of bingo! We go and volunteer at the assisted living place here and call bingo. All the old people are just so funny and we have a great time. 

There's one old lady with a cute old southern accent named Eva who is 103! And still kickin'! She always picks fruitsnacks for her prize when she wins a round of bingo. She is so funny, sayin' "choo choooo!" when she's shuffling her little feet in her wheelchair to get around from place to place!

Also, it's official. Sister Burt is spending the last bit of her mission here. It has now entered into the next transfer and she is staying here for the last six weeks of her mission. I'm going to kill her off! How shall I do it??? haha. 

She doesn't want to go home. She's also in denial about how little time she has left. But she has no more planners to make. She even made a case for all her planners.
Speaking of planners, I made my next one, Christmas! woo!

And it's super sweet! 

I worked long and hard on writing those words... literally hours... hahaha. 

But it looks beautiful, so the practicing paid off! haha.

I also neglected to mention something about last week. Short story time!

So! This was on the day that was very snowy, the Saturday. We called our one native american less active that we are teaching to see if we could set up a time to come over and teach her and her grandchildren. She said that we could come over today, so we did. 

She lives in the elder's area, so a bit out of the way. But we had the car, so it was all good. We drove over there and then we got the text.... that she couldn't meet anymore.... Sigh... what were we going to do? 
We are low on miles this month. 
We couldn't afford to go back to our area and then all the way back here again for our dinner appointment.... 
I suggested we call someone else, a recent convert who we see on this side of town. She's always busy but, might as well try. 
Well, she was able to meet with us! 
Because it was an impromptu visit, she had her handy man friend over! And he listened to what we had to say and is totally open to the gospel! 
And he came to church with the recent convert the next day! 
He lives in the elders area, so the elders are teaching him now, but he's super solid and progressing well! 
The Lord really paved the way on this one. Heavenly Father orchestrated it so that we found him, because he is ready to listen! 
So yeah. That's my awesome story!
Marshall has spina bifida

And last but not least, videos!

So, many of you know my brother Marshall and how he has Spina Bifida. (What is spina bifida?). 

Well, this is a video about a guy in Africa with Spina Bifida and he MAKES wheelchairs! How awesome!
Then there's also this awesome music video that is sung beautifully and I was watching it and it moved me to tears because I thought of the words darn it and it's something that's just so good! So, might as well share.

And then this is my favorite Thanskgiving Message video thing in the spirit of Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

29 - Preachin' in a Winter Wonderland

Monday, Before the Snow Came
So if any of you have watched the news this week, I was notified by my dear mother that apparently South Dakota was on the news because of how cold it has been here.

Winter came on fast! Which honestly, I prefer because now you just know you have to put on your coat. There's no debating whether or not you need it, as there would be if we eased into winter. 

So, it works out.

That Night...A 'cute' Dusting of Snow
Later last Monday afternoon it snowed a little bit. It was a cute little snowfall. It wasn't enough to cover the ground completely, but it was very windy. It was the strangest thing because the snow wasn't sticking to the ground at all. And it was so thin Monday afternoon that you could just occasionally see a gust of wind come by with a thin line of snow in it's grasp. It was so strange. 

The snow blew around, almost looking like sand as it was swept elsewhere by the wind. (Of course I would relate it to sand being from Arizona.) I don't recall having seen anything like this before, because the snow didn't blow around this drastically in flagstaff even though it was windy there too. It's probably because the snow here is very powdery and less wet. It's unfortunately not something I can capture in a picture. Nonetheless, it was a cute little snowfall.
Tuesday Morning - Bundled UP

The next morning we looked out and it was snowing, but windy, so there was even less snow on the ground than the day before. And we called the Sioux Falls Weather Service and with windchill... it was like, four degrees. But. We had to tract still. We are to stop tracting completely and stay inside only when it hits -30 degrees. 

So we were obedient missionaries and got suited up.

Wind and Snow Vs. Hat and Scarf!
That wind is a killer. See how my scarf is blowing in that picture? And it was snowing and sometimes the snow hits you in the eye and you're like "Dah! My eyeball" haha. 

We had some success while tracting this street though. We found a less active that isn't on the ward list! So that was exciting. She let us come in and made us hot chocolate.

Thank you to my cousin Rachel though! 

She made me this scarf, and psh, you don't need scarves in Arizona, but I was sure glad I had one this day! 

This is how you fight the cold!

Also, Tuesday was 11/11/11/11/11 day. So we made an 11/11 challenge. 

We didn't do all the things, but the other sisters did! haha. Sister Hawkes now hates water...(She drank 11 cups)

Wednesday we were fortunate enough to be able to stay indoors most of the day to plan for the week. And Thursday we were blessed because, though it was twelve degrees outside, there was basically no wind, even in Tea! (Tea is a smaller town just South West of Sioux Falls. Most of Tea is in our Proselyting area. We usually go out to Tea only once or twice a week because we missionaries are limited on miles, plus we only have the car on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.)

That Thursday night we found someone who let us into their doorway and we were able to teach her about the restoration and she read Moroni 10:3-5 and felt that it was true! It was only her though. Her husband might not be as receptive. We pray that they both will have a spiritual confirmation that this is the correct course to pursue, to learn more about and accept the restored gospel of Jesus Christ into their lives.

My Reflection in the Car Window
A Closeup of the Frosty Car Window
Friday it was, guess what, still pretty cold haha. Cold enough to have cool ice flakey things form on the car window! It looks like Someone is just taking a picture of me in snow, but nope! That's the car window and me just in the reflection!

So cool.

There was no snow in Bismarck Friday, but there was snow up in Brookings, SD. 
How do I know? 
We went up to Brookings to watch Meet the Mormons!  

(A news article about Meet The Mormons, the movie.) 

Missionaries of the Brookings Zone.

Our Mission President, President Anderson, promised us that when it came out we would eventually get to see it, that he and Sister Anderson would go around the mission and show it to all the missionaries! 

My goodness, it was awesome! And now I really want to go to Costa Rica and Napal. haha. But the strong theme of service was so refreshing. A great great GREAT film! And, it should be available on Netflix before you know it!

While all the missionaries were gathered in one place, President took the time to interview us all individually, just to see how we are doing and how he can help us. We are all interviewed four times a year, usually during zone conferences. So, while President was doing interviews we started playing "never have I ever." Now, I was a bit skeptical of starting this game because if you have played this game before, you know it can be a very intrusive? should I say, game? Yeah, but! We played it 'according to the admonition of Paul.' (See the thirteenth article of faith.) So, you could only ask questions that would invoke things that are 'lovely, of good report, or praiseworthy.' Yeah! That's totally the way I'm going to explain how I wanna play it from now on! So awesome and so fun! I wish I had taken a picture. haha. Oh well.

Tracks in the the Gym? No!
And then Saturday. We woke up and 'whoa, snow.' And we actually just got permission by president to use the gym room that our apartment complex has upon the condition that there are no males in there when we use it and that there are no TVs on. So we went out in the snow and to the gym and there was a dude watching the TV using the tredmill... so we ran back to the room. It was like, eighteen degrees outside with the windchill, darn it.
We had the car this first snowy day, and actually it was quite warm, at least, for snow weather. It was 23 degrees thoughout the day and barely any wind! Just a constant light snowfall! Yay!

It was so beautiful! And so nice to be in compared to Tuesday! My goodness! 

Driving in snow is not fun though. And our little car is NOT built for snow. Not at all. We were parked uphill at one point and we were trying to go forward and were slipping and sliding and could not gain traction. I went out of the car and tried to push. It must have looked really silly. lol. We then decided it would be smart to go down the hill instead. haha. Problem solved!

Our Car Doors Froze Shut...INSIDE the garage!
Ah, I just love the snow. It's so beautiful! Especially when there's no wind! We decided it would be smart to park in the garage that night. 


Sunday morning, we opened the garage and it was still all frozen! haha We had to pull hard to get the doors open because they were frozen shut!

ZERO Degrees?!?!...INSIDE the Garage!

Also, it was pretty cold, not to windy, but we looked at the temperature that the car so kindly tells us (so nice!) and...

No wonder it felt pretty cold! haha

Look, Mom! No Hands! Take THAT, Cold!

So, it has been cold, but good, and we will stay as positive and 
productive as possible this winter!

P.S. Here's a tip. Do you like a nice peppermint hot chocolate but don't have a peppermint candy cane?  Can't seem to get that SINGLE DROP of peppermint extract and end up with your eyes watering from the minty aroma?  Haha...been there!

If you want to make good peppermint hot chocolate, just stick a peppermint altoid in there! I'm a geinus!

P.P.S. Sister Gray, my previous companion, reminded me that the P stands for Post and the S stands for Script. I've been doing multiple S's instead of multiple P's. I will amend my wrongs. lol

P.P.P.S. I Plan to become buff this winter.


(I've been adding one a day so far.)

P.P.P.P.S. Sister Burt goes home January 8th. So, we are going to sing through all the songs in the hymn book that we feel confident sight reading before she goes home.